September 11, 2007
Terribly misplaced priorities in reporting the West Virginia horror
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:44 PMThis, from the Associated Press, is the most egregious example of burying the lede I've seen in many a day:
Authorities said Tuesday they are considering hate crime charges in the case of a woman who was tortured while being held captive for at least a week, and they are investigating the possibility that she was lured by a man she met on the Internet.
The victim was repeatedly called a racial slur while her captors sexually abused, beat and stabbed her, her mother said.
Six people, all white, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, were arrested in connection with the alleged abduction of the 20-year-old black woman. ...
Here is more on this awful story from The Smoking Gun:
the woman, who apparently had been held for more than a week, had four stab wounds in her left leg, bruised eyes, and had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and humiliated. ... Brewster's son Bobby forced the woman to eat dog and rat feces, according to one complaint filed in Logan County Magistrate Court. The victim, who is now hospitalized, was raped at knifepoint, choked with a cable cord, and had her hair pulled and cut during the ordeal.
My God, this story is horrific. But why in the name of all that's holy would you focus on the "hate crime" aspect of it? Talk about woefully misplaced priorities. She was allegedly kidnapped, raped, stabbed, molested, brutalized, tortured, enslaved, strangled, forced to eat animal feces, etc. — but out of all that, what really horrifies the AP was that she was called the n-word?
Big frigging deal authorities are considering prosecuting it as a hate crime! What message will that send to the "haters" out there, anyway? If you're going to commit kidnapping, rape, torture, stab, and strangle someone, you better not use racial slurs against them, or you will really be in trouble and we are not kidding?
Another elegant convergence of leftist fads
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:25 PMPer MSNBC:
High gas prices could make you skinnier
Study: Extra $1 in gas prices could cut obesity by 15 percent after 5 years
When government 'helps'
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:12 PM
If you wonder why foes of government giveaway programs raise such vocal concerns, Robert J. Samuelson's latest Newsweek column might give you some ideas.
Samuelson dissects federal farm legislation:
The life cycle of many government programs is this: they often start for good cause or with good intentions; then they perpetuate themselves by creating a protective web of interests—constituents who believe they have property rights in benefits, politicians whose power derives from renewing or expanding the benefits, and lobbies that exist to influence crucial politicians. Farm programs adhere faithfully to this cycle.
Now repeat the process for every government program that involves an elected official or bureaucrat choosing "winners" and "losers," rather than administering a level playing field for all.
They Did It To Protect Jobs
Posted by Chad Adams at 8:23 PM
So the line goes, "I don't like incentives, BUT. . . (insert absurd statement here)" Imagine telling your kids that about drug use, "I don't like illegal drugs, BUT. .. " This could go on. But here's a reminder about the TRUE situation in Cumberland County outside the world of Goodyear.
The Fayetteville-Cumberland County BRAC Project Committee is trying to
lure new residents to the area. The relocation of the commands by 2011,
along with military growth and reorganization, could bring as many as
45,000 new residents to the 11-county area surrounding the post.
That doesn't sound like a cry for incentives or assistance from the taxpayers of NC. Funny that BRAC was never part of the discussion.
Everything old is new again
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:30 PM
If you think the current national debate about the proper balance between freedom and security is unprecedented, think again.
Historian Matthew Warshauer details in a recent book Andrew Jackson's use of emergency executive powers in New Orleans during the tail end of the War of 1812. Warshauer says neither Jackson's actions — nor those of Lincoln, FDR, and other presidents — set good precendents for the current administration in its War on Terror.
He shared his research during a N.C. History Project Headliner lecture today.
8:23 p.m. update: Watch the entire presentation here.
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:30 PM
The Senate just finished with a voice vote on third reading to support the big bribe bill to Goodyear and Bridgestone/Firestone. Voting wasn't close.
Col. David Hunt event canceled
Posted by Jon Ham at 2:51 PM
Just in case anyone was heading to Wilmington for the John Locke Foundation Headliner Dinner with Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt, that event has been canceled. Col. Hunt says he is not able to make it out of New York in time. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Cumberland County Business Council, last time
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:20 AM
That Cumberland County Business Council study was completed in May 2006 by commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis. It looked at the economic and fiscal impact of keeping 2,500 jobs at a Plastics & Rubber Product Manufacturing company in the county. Goodyear is the only company that fits the bill, so apparently it was about Goodyear the whole time.
The indirect and induced impact estimates for such studies are always troublesome, as we've pointed out before related to the Randy Parton Theatre in Roanoke Rapids.
Lesson for legislators: If you get a letter from a chamber of commerce or county economic development agency or, worse, both under the same roof, ask a lot of questions. Those questions are even more important when the group will not release details of the study.
Excellent essay on leftist professors
Posted by George Leef at 10:35 AM
Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein has a terrific essay at Minding the Campus. His discussion of their tendency to wail about students who don't agree with them is not to be missed.
Goofy Bench or Public Art
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:24 AM
Try both. Donna Martinez has comments on the $420,000 sculpture dedicated to Chapel Hill Transit's bus drivers at Right Angles, but the N&O's picture of the tires and mountains bench needed to be seen.
Once more -- environmentalists versus the poor
Posted by George Leef at 09:11 AM
Alvaro Vargas Llosa writes here about recent efforts to prevent mining to supposedly protect the environment. So what if poor people will have to stay poor?
The piece includes a fantastic rationalization by one of the "greens" that poor people are happier than the wealthy because he sees them smiling more than rich people.
Friggin' awesome survey
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:01 AM
...courtesy of Education Next. I especially like the fact that the survey breaks out the responses of public school employees.
The bottom line is that most respondents gave America's public schools a "C" and their local public schools a "B-". Interestingly, responses from public school employees on these two questions did not differ much from non-employees.
The survey exposes some common myths. A majority of respondents (59 percent) said that students would learn more if schools had more money. An astounding 77 percent (and 81 percent of public school employees) said that reducing class sizes is a better use of money than raising teacher salaries.
Here are a few other interesting results. Fifty percent of public school employees (53 percent overall) favored the idea of offering low-income children a tax credit to attend a private school. In addition, 55 percent of respondents (including 53 percent of public school employees) favor the idea of allowing home-schooled students to attend select classes at local public schools.
After reading this, I know you want more. Here is that link again.
The two sides of the overcrowding debate
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:34 AM
This News and Observer article tries to pin Wake County's school overcrowding on the recent court decision that allows parents to opt out of year-round schools.
I am not surprised to see the N&O blame choice, which is actually the solution, for overcrowding, but school principals interviewed for the article correctly identify a huge problem: the State Board of Education's restrictions on class sizes. School principals would be much better off if they had the flexibility to add a handful of students to each class. Unfortunately, Gov. Easley's fixation on small class sizes produced the heavy-handed state policy we have today.
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